Free Hajj and Umrah facility launched for senior citizens of Pakistan

Free Hajj and Umrah facility launched for senior citizens of Pakistan

KARACHI - The citizens of Pakistan can avail the free Hajj and Umrah facility as the Sindh Governor has announced a special offer in this regard.

Kamran Khan Tessori while visiting Sindh Government Hospital Liaquatabad (SGHL) announced on Sunday that the government would bear the Hajj and Umrah expenses of people over 75 years of age.

Tessori said that balloting would be done in this regard for selecting the successful applicants who have not performed the holy pilgrimage in their life.

The governor elaborated that those who want to perform the spiritual obligation should register themselves with Governor House and they would be sent to holy mosques after balloting.

The governor did not explain whether the people of SIndh only or anyone from across the country would be able to avail of the facility; it is also unknown whether the applicants would be sent for the upcoming Hajj or the one scheduled in 2025.

As far as the regular Hajj is concerned, the government has already completed the balloting and is in the final phase of arrangements with the Saudi Arabian government.

As per the official details, 69,438 applicants applied for the upcoming Hajj under the government scheme and after the balloting, 5,633 applicants who were unsuccessful in the draw have been placed on the waiting list.

Those on the waiting list can be selected on merit in case any of the successful applicant withdraws the application.

The total number of seats allocated to Pakistan for the upcoming Hajj is around 180,000 but these include the seats allocated to the private Hajj operators also.

The authorities have introduced the Short Hajj package for the pilgrims while the Sponsorship Scheme is also valid for this year as well.

As far as the Long Hajj is concerned, it would encompass 38-42 days with 8 days stay in Medinah and those flying from the South region i.e. Karachi, and Sukkhur would have to pay Rs 10,65,000 while those from other cities i.e. Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad would pay Rs 10,75,000.

For Sponsorship scheme applicants, the cost is $3765 for the South Region while it is $ 3800 for the North Region for those opting for the Long Hajj package.

For the Short Hajj package, the cost for regular Hajj applicants is Rs 11,40,000 for the South region while the cost is Rs 11,50,000 for the North region; the Hajj would continue for 20-25 days under this scheme.

For the Sponsorship Scheme, the cost for Short Hajj is $ 4015 USD for the South region and $ 4050 for North region